MIG, Inc. take inspiration from the sea to renovate the streetscape of Long Beach
Long Beach Transit initiated its Transit Mall Streetscape Renovation project in early 2010. This ground-breaking project involved the redesign and reconstruction of the three-block transit mall in Downtown Long Beach. Fully constructed by the end of 2010, the design reflects a context-appropriate shoreline theme. It includes eight dramatic wave-inspired suspended tensile fabric canopies, each sheltering contemporary free-form seating placed over a sandy-textured concrete sidewalk. The illuminated bus shelter canopies offer shelter for the state-of-the-art, real-time digital information screens for bus patrons' convenience. Their graceful form and collective impact have dramatically changed the character of the former transit mall.
An array of larger-than-life aquatic creatures and plants, rendered in glass and tile mosaics, are strategically placed throughout the mall and embedded within the sidewalk paving. A prominent local artist researched the neighbouring Aquarium of the Pacific as an inspiration for this nature-based, playful art that also functions as a wayfinding cue.
New landscaping includes an articulated allee of date palms, which provide civic scale and sweeping shadows across the wide and stark transit street. An understory of flowering canopy trees and random meandering steel bench seats, provide welcomed shade and rest for pedestrians and transit patrons. Emphatic groundcover and shrubs connote a coral reef-like feel to accentuate the shoreline theme. New pedestrian lighting between the shelters provides a pleasing nighttime experience for Blueline Metro and bus patrons. Stormwater planters are incorporated strategically along the street/sidewalk interface to absorb and clean runoff water while providing a more attractive landscape buffer in a heavily paved and trafficked Downtown.
The Long Beach Transit Mall Streetscape Renovation project has not only transformed this area of central Long Beach, it has improved the lives of all people from the region who use and pass through the space.